Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wanting to be the "IT" girl...

As I look back on my growing up days, I remember the good memories that still make me smile. The tough times, that still make my heart ache and then there was 5th - 10th grade. UGH! How did I ever survive? I look at pictures and just want to know "WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!!" The hair, the clothes, the shy smile...all the pictures prove that there were a few rough years for me in there. Isn't it crazy how you can remember every mean word said, yet have a hard time remembering anything good? My dad use to really get on to me for using phrases with the words "always" and "never" in them. I didn't understand until I became a parent and realized that one mean word multiplies to a hundred in the space of 2 seconds in the teenage mind. The heart and one's self esteem never stand a chance when faced with thousands of negative thoughts daily.

I started thinking about it all yesterday when my girl was trying her best not to have a huge pity party, but wasn't winning the battle. I said all the things a mom is suppose to and then realized that those words didn't help when I was in 6th grade, why would I think they would work on my daughter who is smarter than I ever was?! ( Sorry Mom, but you didn't stand a chance. The peers at that age win every time!)

Moms are suppose to say that everyone goes through that growing stage when your body is still trying to decide what it wants to do. What I said was true...for about 95% of most kids. But unfortunately it is that 5% that sets the standards on how the rest of us feel about ourselves. Whether it is because they've never had a zit in their life, never had a crooked smile or ALWAYS had the perfect hair, they could do no wrong in the eyes of the rest of us, who skimmed up enough courage everyday not to put a paper bag over our heads and be done with it! It is no fair at all when there are a few individuals that never had to go through puberty!!! No, it is tough being a mom when the self esteem cards are scattered and your daughter is floundering to make the deck. There doesn't seem to be much one can say to make things better.

I can buy acne medicine, but I can't make the pimples disappear...especially during certain times of the month. I can buy makeup, and it might make one feel a little better, but you still have to look in the mirror every morning and face the face God gave you. I can buy new clothes but if they don't fit the way you want... I can talk and encourage and show my love, but at the end of the day, in middle school, it is more important what the "IT GIRL" thinks.

The "IT GIRL" is what Kayla and I call the girl that can do no wrong among her peers. To us moms she is close to being pure evil. She makes our little girls cry. She makes our babies embarrassed. She controls our sweetie pies with a look. Sad part is, she doesn't even have to try. She is just there to be the standard of what everyone else wants to be. The boys all want her to be their girl for the status. The girls want to be her friend so they can feel better about themselves.

There were plenty of "IT GIRLS" in my growing up years. The funny thing is, that when I look at pictures now, they are not always as beautiful as I thought they were then. Somewhere and somehow, a few of them were put on pedestals even when they really didn't deserve the honor. I wonder why?

I tried to relay my discoveries to my daughter. I tried to remind her that kindness and loyalty also go a long way in the teenage years. I tried to remind her that there is hope, for if you were to look at my 6th grade picture and my senior picture...well I found myself along the way. She then reminded me that she hasn't seen my 6th grade picture, to which I remember that I probably threw them all away. THEY WERE THAT BAD! ( Mom, don't even try to bring one out of hiding!)

6th grade is hard. Not a little girl, yet not quite a teenager. Finding your place and where you fit in is hard enough, without having to worry constantly what you look like. And then if you don't quite fit the "IT GIRL" criteria...

Again, what is a mom to do? I gave up. When the words will not make it better, I did the only thing I could. I told her I loved her and then we left the house.

We went and got her hair cut and bought her some new earrings.

It was nice to see her smile again...

(Pray for me!)

***On a totally different note...was I suppose to build an ark this past week? It sure seems like the flood waters are a falling!!!***


Amber said...

Tell Kay that her Auntie Amb thinks that she is beautiful. And smart. And funny. And fabulous. And then you have my permission to bust out my Kayla. Only Kayla!!

Love you guys. Praying for you like crazy.

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

Girl, we need to talk! Middle school has been H-E-double hockey sticks this week! Girls are soooo mean to each other.

And I had a fight with my 8-year old in Dillards last night because I made her try on capris and a cute t-shirt. She wants to wear long, baggy pants and long sleeves all summer because she thinks she's fat. She's not. At all. And she wouldn't even let me see her in the swimsuit she tried on...the one with the skirt to cover her "fat" legs.

I feel your pain. It sounds like you've got a good relationship with Kayla and that's important. Sounds like you've got a lot of wisdom too. Wanna share with me?! I seem to be lacking in that department!

Jim said...

You're right on! The best words are "I love you" and the best action, "a do" (did I say that right??

You and Amb are living proof that good plants that seem average at certain early stages develop beautiful blooms, even better than "IT GIRLS"!

Tell Kay that Poohpa said she's already a beautiful rose and I love roses!
Love you - proud of you!

Gretchen said...

My daughter is going thru the same thing. She's 10, nearly 11, in the 5th grade, and just yesterday was talking about how ugly she felt and how "fat", blah, blah, blah.

It's all I can do not to just take her and seal her in a room for 5 years.

Guess this is another way we can completely surrender our hearts and needs to God. But that doesn't mean I like it.

And the problem? While she's not fat, she's not thin. In fact, because we're awaiting the puberty express, she's got some chunk. Gratefully, we were at the doc today--to look at her heel--and received nothing but encouragement about her size. Sometimes it just has to be someone other than "Mom" saying things.

Oh, and our "it" girl. Grrrrr

Christi @ Writing the Waves said...

I soooo remember those days like they were yesterday. I hated being that age! Wouldn't repeat middle school for anything! And like you, on the rare occasion that an old middle school picture surfaces, I quickly shove it out of sight! :)

Sounds like you are playing your cards just right. I don't know that there is much that my mom could have done to make EVERYTHING all better, but a good relationship with her sure helped.

On a lighter daughter swears by proactiv...usually seems to do the trick with those annoying pimples! :)